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Assess the relation between sociology and social policy

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´╗┐Assess the relation between sociology and social policy: Social policy is thought as tackling social problems, in order to understand the relationship between sociology and social policy, sociologists distinguish first between Social problems and sociological problems. According to WORSLEY (1977) Social problems are issues concerning mainly the public, it is behaviour that causes public friction, and calls for collective action to solve it E.g. poverty, divorce, juvenile delinquency. These are all social problems of society that governments may need to be called upon to produce policies to tackle them. Whereas a sociological problem is any pattern of relationships that calls for an explanation, for example why some people are poor, commit crime or fail in school? However, it can also include behaviour that society doesn?t normally see as a problem for example why people are law abiding, succeed at school or remain happily married. Thus highlighting sociologists aren?t only interesting in those problems society regard as a problem but also normal behaviour. Many sociologists are interested in solving social problems through their research, so their research can guide social policy for example sociologist who feel strongly about poverty, educational achievement have conducted research aimed at discovering solutions to solve these social problems. ...read more.


By investigating social problems and discovering their causes, sociologists provide the necessary information on which the state can base its policies. Additionally, functionalists favour a cautious approach, in other words social policies such as ?piecemeal social engineering? which aim to tackle one specific issue at a time. Conversely, social democratic Townsend (1979) argues that they should be involved in researching social problems and making policy recommendations to eradicate them. for example his own research on 'poverty' Townsend came to the conclusion that we should have fairer, higher benefit levels, more public spending on health, education and welfare services. Similarly the black report (1980) on class inequalities in health made 37 policy recommendations for reducing these deep rooted inequalities such as free school meals for all children improved working conditions and better housing benefits for the disabled etc. However, Marxists criticize the social democratic perspective, highlighting no matter how many proposals are made by the black report, it is not enough to solve the problem. They see society divided into two social classes the bourgeoisies (ruling class) ...read more.


This in turn leads to greater social problems, such as crime and delinquency. Charles Murray (1984) argues that generous welfare benefits and council housing for lone parents act as ?perverse incentives? that weaken the family?s self-reliance which encourages the growth of dependency culture and an underclass of lone mothers, undisciplined children in the knowledge that the welfare state will provide for them. For this reason Murray favours a reduction in state spending on welfare. Ultimately, the new right believe policies should aim to restore individual responsibility for their own and their families? welfare rather than leaving it to the state. For example ?Breakdown Britain? the social justice policy group (2007) proposes a range of new policies aimed at the family. Such as marriage preparation and parenting classes the reports main thrust is that governments have stripped citizens of responsibility for their own welfare and neglected the support networks that give people their quality of life. Hence the new right argue the role of social policy should be to enable people to help themselves, rather than the welfare state attempting, and failing, to do it for them. ...read more.

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